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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

How Do You Suppose Those Kids Feel?

June 18, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Andy Pafko says it came as a big shock when one of his baseball cards--a vintage Topps card from 1952--sold for $83,870 at auction earlier this year.

The former major leaguer ruefully recalled the "boxes of cards" he received from the Topps company in the 1950s but didn't save.

"I just gave the cards to the kids in the neighborhood and they put them in their bicycle spokes. And there went the money--click, click, click," Pafko said.

Now 77, Pafko once played for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. His major league career included stints with the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves. He retired in 1959.

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for strokes under par at any point in the U.S. Open?

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Do it now, Mike: Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, advising Michael Jordan not to return to the Bulls next season:

"[Jordan] should walk away for good, leaving us with the perfect closing line, like Humphrey Bogart talking about the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with Claude Rains], or Clark Gable not giving a damn.

"Would 'Casablanca' or 'Gone With the Wind' be better movies if the directors had added another scene?"

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More Jordan: Mike Littwin in the Rocky Mountain News: "Sometimes, but only occasionally, and rarely since Grantland Rice hung up his typewriter, the sports game will produce heroes in the old sense.

"These heroes live on top of a mountain, beyond the clouds, and usually in mansions with built-in basketball courts. The Greeks--famous for their sportswriters (was not Homer the inspiration for homer?--invented the concept.

"And although no one could quite invent Michael Jordan, I'm guessing Nike, of the Greek-inspired logo, will want to take the credit."

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Late reaction: Delegates to the American Medical Assn.'s annual convention criticized Jordan and his Chicago Bull teammates for lighting up cigars to celebrate their sixth NBA championship Sunday.

Where were they when Boston Celtic Coach Red Auerbach lit up a stogie toward the end of every Celtic victory?

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Looking back: On this day in 1960, Arnold Palmer shot a closing 65 to beat amateur Jack Nicklaus by two strokes and win the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver.

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Trivia answer: Gil Morgan, 12, in the third round at Pebble Beach in 1992.

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And finally: C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle, reminiscing on some holes at the Olympic Club, site of the U.S. Open:

"No. 1, 553-yard par-five. This was the Mac O'Grady hole at the 1987 Open. Playing with Mark McCumber, O'Grady's second shot hit McCumber's caddie, John Freeburn, on the elbow and bounced onto the green. McCumber was furious and lit into O'Grady, but Mac was undisturbed.

"He canned a 25-foot eagle putt.

"No wonder it is such a tough hole. Do you realize how hard it is to hit a caddie's elbow from 225 yards?"

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